DEVON County Council’s outgoing leader has confirmed he will not be standing for re-election in 2025. 

Councillor John Hart has led the Conservatives in Devon since 2007, and announced this month that he would be stepping down as leader imminently. 

During a full council debate on devolution, where Devon and Torbay would combine to create a combined county authority, or CCA, Cllr Hart said he would not contest his Bickleigh and Wembury seat at next year’s local elections. 

“This is the last time I address the council as leader,” he told the full council meeting. 

“I have done 15 years and I have a wife who would like to see me more frequently,” adding as a quip that more recently “she wasn’t so sure”. 

He continued: “Age is catching up with me and that’s the reason I am stopping, no other. 

“It has reached a stage where it is right to pass the leadership on to someone younger.” 

By Bradley Gerrard